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Ian Frazier Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Dating Your Mom (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nobody Better, Better Than Nobody (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Great Plains (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Family (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
On the Rez (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gone to New York (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Travels in Siberia (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hogs Wild (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Paradise Bronx (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Coyote v. Acme (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fish's Eye (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lamentations of the Father (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Humor Me (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cranial Fracking (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir(1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
They Went(1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror Fourth Annual Collection(1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fourth Annual Collection(1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fifth Annual Collection(1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Essays 1997(1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Life Stories(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
City Fishing(2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Travel Writing 2003(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Eloquent Short Story: An Anthology of Narrative Styles(2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Essays 2005(2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Travel Writing 2007(2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The New Yorker, 04/05/21(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Ian Frazier
Ian Frazier was born in 1951 in Cleveland, Ohio, and is an American humorist and writer. He is a frequent contributor to the New Yorker.

He grew up in Hudson, Ohio. His dad (David Frazier) was a chemist that worked for Sohio, while his mom was a teacher, as well as an amateur director and actor. She performed and acted in plays in local Ohio theaters. Ian graduated from Western Reserve Academy, and graduated from Harvard University in 1973.

He won the 1989 Whiting Award. Ian’s also won the Thurber Prize twice, in 1997 for his essay collection “Coyote vs. Acme”, and again in 2009 for “Lamentations of the Father”.

“On the Rez” is a non-fiction book that was released in 2000. One great writer’s journey of exploration in an American place which is both deeply familiar and strange.

In “On the Rez”, Frazier goes to the plains and focuses on a place at their center: the Pine Ridge Reservation in the badlands and prairie of South Dakota, which is the home of the Ogala Sioux. Frazier drives all around “the rez” with Le War Lance and some other Ogalas while they tell their stories, visit their relatives, go to rodeos and powwows and package stores, and attempt to find parts to fix one or another of their on-the-verge-of-working cars.

This book considers Indian ideas of community, equality, and freedom which are basic to how we view ourselves. But most of all, he examines the Indian idea of heroism, its pulse-quickening and suffering, public spirited glory. This book depicts the survival, through humor and toughness, of a great people whose culture has shaped our American identity.

“Great Plains” is a non-fiction book that was released in 2001. Most travelers will just fly over the Great Plains, however Ian Frazier, ever the wide eyed and intrepid wanderer, isn’t you average traveler. A fascinating and hilarious look at the great middle of our nation.

With his unique mix of tongue in cheek humor, intrepidity, and wide eyed wonder, Ian Frazier takes the reader on a journey of over 25,000 miles up and down and across the myth-inspiring and vast Great Plains.

A work of scholarship, a travelogue, and a western adventure, this book takes us from the abandoned house once terrorized by Bonnie and Clyde, to the site of Sitting Bull’s cabin, to the scene of the murders that were chronicled in Capote’s “In Cold Blood”. It’s an expedition that reveals the very heart of the American West.

“Family” is a non-fiction book that was released in 2002. With his unerring eye of detail and wit, this time Ian takes the readers on a journey through his family’s story, his nation’s history, as well as himself.

Using letters and other assorted family documents, Ian reconstructs two hundred years of middle class life, visiting small towns that his ancestors lived in, reading the same books that they did, and finding the larger forces of history which affected them. He observes some of them during the British raid on Danbury, Connecticut, during the Revolutionary War. He follows others west while they pioneer in the wilderness of Indiana and Ohio, and he visits the battlefields where they fought in the Civil War.

Ian interviews some old-timers, maids, aunts, cousins, uncles, and one beer store owner that knew his father. He pursues the family saga in aspect from trivial to grand, hoping for some meaning which would defeat even death.

This is a chronicle of Protestant culture’s rise and fall, a memorial, a poetic epic of facts, and a revised view of American history, just as cold-eyed as it is romantic.

“Dating Your Mom” is a non-fiction book that was released in 2003. Right from the opening essay, called “The Bloomsbury Group Live at the Apollo (Liner Notes from the New Bestselling Album)” to the titular piece which discusses all the ways that you might start a romance with your mom. To a parody which features Samuel Beckett as a pilot that’s giving an existential in-flight speech to all the passengers, the twenty-five comic essays in this delightful collection are nothing short of brilliant.

Ian Frazier, who’s long been considered to be one of our most treasured humorists, proves that comedy can be just as smart as it is entertaining.

“Hogs Wild: Selected Reporting Pieces” is a non-fiction book that was released in 2016. Assembling a decade’s worth of Ian’s finest reportage and essays, and it demonstrates the irrepressible passions and artful digressions which distinguish his enduring body of work.

Part raconteur, part muckraker, and part adventurer, Ian captures, beholds, and sometimes reimagines the spirit of the American experience. He travels down South in order to examine feral hogs, and discovers that their presence in any country is a pretty strong indicator that it votes Republican. He introduces us to a man who, once his house gets hit by a supposed meteorite, hopes he can “leverage” the space object into some opportunity for his family, and a New York City police detective that is fascinated with rap music related crimes.

Alongside of Frazier’s delight in the absurdities of contemporary life is his sense of social responsibility: there is an echo of the great reform-minded writers in his pieces on this soup kitchen, opioid deaths on Staten Island, and the rise in homelessness in New York City under Mayor Bloomburg.

In every dizzying find, this book unearths the joys of inquiry without agenda, and curiosity without calculation. To read Frazier is to become a sort of political and social anthropologist, deeply engaged and astute.

“Cranial Fracking” is a non-fiction book that was released in 2021. Dispatches from the front lines of American culture by a fantastic humorist.

Ian’s gathered his insights on the most urgent of issues of today. From climate change (what did Al Gore say at his colloquium about the rising temperatures down in Hell?). To the state of culture, and what you do when you are afflicted with the Loss of Funding. To what we should do with Texas. Ian’s got all of the answers. Or a lot of questions, at the very least.

Ian is perpetually delighted and endlessly curious, and seeing the absurdity of the world through this man’s eyes is irresistible. Yet again, this author’s struck oil.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Ian Frazier

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